Fabrice Lena, Secretary-General of the Popular Action Party (PAP) says political parties in Cameroon should seek peace in the North West and South West Regions before demanding sweeping electoral reforms.
The firebrand youthful politician was speaking to Mimi Mefo Info Thursday, April 1, 2021, following a March 31 meeting of seven opposition party leaders in Yaoundé.
The opposition leaders, reports say, are forming a bloc to push for electoral reforms.
They include Professor Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), Hon. Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), Hon. Ndam Njoya of the CDU, Prince Ekosso Ngwese Michael of the USDP, Hon. Cabral Libii of the PCRN, and two others.
“Is the consensual reform of the electoral code more important than the peace that we want to seek for the people that are dying in the North West and South West Regions? If the Electoral Code is reformed today, will it permit us to go back and stand for elections in the Anglophone regions? It is impossible. We have to form a coalition to handle the pressing issues in the country first,” said Lena.
“We won’t merge with old and new friends of Paul Biya to ask for Electoral Code reform when we of PAP are talking about a ceasefire, negotiations, and the question of the form of State which will usher in adjustments of institutions and systems including the Electoral Code and an independent elections body,” the PAP scribe furthered.
He opines that Kamto did not go to parliament but is drafting in parliamentarians to fight for electoral reforms. “He has also drafted in some politicians with a questionable political image. This is a political blunder,” Lena insisted.
He regrets that the PAP was not given a listening ear after the September 22, 2020, nationwide anti-Biya protests. The PAP secretary-general says they wanted to come up with a political program aimed at seeking peace.
“When we called, they did not respond. Now they want us to respond to them,” said Lena. “The CRM contacted us for manifestation last September 22, agreed, and went. After the manifestation, PAP solicited a network of party Representative for evaluation, follow up of detainees, and a new strategy that we thought out to be a strong team of members of the coalition for a building process in the Southern Cameroons between the government and the Separatist leaders, nobody showed up. If their agenda and priority are limited to electoral code reforms, we don’t share that.”
Lena says the PAP wants “an independent Federal Electoral Commission in the new Federal Republic.”
“It’s now a solely PAP initiative with one ex-opposition political prisoner from the north, Aboubakary Sidikki, who shares in our vision. We can’t always be limping behind people with poor political strategy full of blunders,” said the youthful politician.
“We differ in approach, but we are more flexible to collaboration than they are. Penda Ekoka and Agir/Act team see reasons with us.”
According to Lena, “a call for common action should be mutual not us always going to them. We are paralyzed by war, but it seems the support to get us up is always at a 50:50, or even less, basis. Like I earlier said, it’s a union of old and new friends of CPDM and Paul Biya with the objective of sectoral reforms which is not going to change anything for now.”
Lena declared: “The Popular Action Party will not merge with the old and new friends of Paul Biya to demand sectoral reforms!”
“The Popular Action Party is more concerned about a ceasefire in the Southern Cameroons, a possible negotiation to end the senseless war, an adjustment of the form of State with its institutions and systems,” said the PAP secretary-general.
“In fact, the Popular Action Party thinks that modification of the Electoral Code is irrelevant in this Jacobin system of hyper concentration of power in/at Etoudi. We need an Independent Electoral Commission in the new Federal Republic.”
By Ashu Tidings
Mimi Mefo Info (+237679135573)